wild heart

An interview with the founder of Wild Heart Coaching (part 2)

Here’s the second half of my interview with Lisa Bourque, founder of Wild Heart Coaching. Lisa inspired many people when she quit her job as an Attorney to become a life coach. By focusing on living a more authentic, happy life she has helped others to find their own true passions as well. For more background read part 1!
What would you say to someone who is unhappy with their career right now, but can’t think of any personal passions to drive them to a new career path?
First, get really honest with yourself.  How does it feel to be so unhappy?  Really feel it.  Don’t try to run away from the feeling or shut it out.  You’re feeling this way for a reason.  Get honest with yourself about what isn’t working — is it your environment?  The attitudes of the people you work with?  The type of work you do?  What’s missing?  Then, get honest with yourself about what you really want.  It doesn’t have to be a job title.  But think about how you would like to spend your day — what does that look like?  Who do you work with?  What types of things do you do?  What is the impact you have on others?  Starting to explore these types of questions in an honest way is an important first step.  Because if you aren’t honest with yourself and try to fit into a box that doesn’t fit, it’s going to be hard to make changes.
Second, notice when you do feel engaged in what you’re doing — whether in your life or in your work.  If you don’t ever feel engaged, then it’s time to start trying new things!  Is there something you want to do that you haven’t given yourself permission to do?  Maybe it’s going to a photography exhibit, maybe it’s trying out kayaking, or taking a cooking class.  Whatever is calling to you, try it!  When you start following your interests and allow yourself to experiment, you will get more in touch with personal passions — those things that make you feel happy, alive, and engaged.
A life coach is an expert who partners with you during that process of exploration, self-connection, deeper understanding and awareness, and conscious action toward what you want.  Working with a coach helps you to move forward and deeper more quickly and with greater focus — kind of like hiring a personal trainer to get more fit versus just doing it on your own.  Working with someone who’s main purpose is to help you in this way tends to yield the results you’re looking for much more efficiently!
What is a typical life coaching session like? If someone can’t afford life coaching what would you recommend?
Every coaching session is different!  People have many different issues and goals that they bring to coaching, and the really great thing is that coaching can be applied to many areas of your life.  The only typical thing is that you come to the call (most coaches coach over the phone) with a topic that is important to you — something you’ve been stuck in, a big question that’s been on you mind, a desire to take action that for some reason you haven’t taken yet.  Then I coach you around that topic using whatever tools support your goals or agenda.
Sometimes the session focuses on gaining clarity about what you really wants and what it may look like.  Other times it is exploring your feeling of being stuck and brainstorming new perspectives so that you can take a different approach and move forward where you hadn’t been able to before.  Other times it may be gaining a deeper awareness of what’s going on beneath the surface of everyday life so that you can see the big picture.

If you don’t know if  you are ready for coaching, just start exploring.  Go to a bookstore and browse the personal growth/personal development section and see what draws you in.  One of my favorite books is The Artist’s Way"" by Julia Cameron.  The exercises in that book changed how I saw myself in my life. If you hear about a workshop or a class that seems interesting, take it! Journal.  Even if you aren’t used to writing what’s on your mind, just go for it.  Start by writing 1 page a day about anything you’ve been thinking or feeling.  Write about what you’re feeling.  Build up to a couple pages a day.  Explore blogs that interest you and stretch you to think about your life in new ways.  I write my blog at  http://www.yourwildheart.com/blog.html and offer useful information, tips, and perspectives for free two times a week.  Many other blogs do too — including the HeSo Project!
If you think coaching could be a valuable tool to help you move toward what you want, I invite you to talk to a coach!  Many coaches offer free sample sessions so that you can get a first-hand idea whether coaching is right for you – because ultimately it’s up to you to create the life you want.  I found coaching to be invaluable in my journey and I continue to work with a coach to this day.  I also see how coaching is of great value to my clients – knowing that makes me happy and proud to do what I do every day.
Thank you so much for sharing your insights and motivating story with us!
 Lisa Bourque is a personal coach and the founder of Wild Heart Coaching.  She specializes in helping people who feel lifeless at work to find their authentic path and align their personal and professional passions with confidence and choice.  Visit her website at www.YourWildHeart.com.

An Interview with the founder of Wild Heart Coaching (part 1)

A while ago Mike introduced me to the awesome Lisa Bourque, founder of Wild Heart Coaching. We were both inspired by her story, and I think you will too! After reading this interview check out her website, Wild Heart Coaching . Here’s a HeSo project at it’s finest:

What were you doing before you started life coaching?
I worked as an attorney at a large law firm in New York City practicing products liability litigation with several pro bono immigration/asylum cases.  I have also worked as a legal advocate for women, a volunteer facilitator for a civil rights program in an inner city high school, a paralegal, and in fundraising for a not-for-profit organization.
You were doing what most people would consider satisfying work, what made you want to quit?

So often I hear people making choices based on what they considered to be prestigious work, interesting work, challenging work, or what they think they “should do.”  Satisfaction isn’t always part of the equation!  When I decided to pursue a career path as an attorney, I chose it because it would be an intellectual challenge and also, truth be told, to make “good money.”  I didn’t choose that path to follow my passion, because I was innately good at it, or because I thought it would be satisfying.  Somehow, none of those things were on my mind!  What I didn’t realize at that time was that intellectual engagement is not the most fulfilling thing that I’m looking for in my work.  Sure, I appreciate using and stretching my mind, but I’m looking for much more than that.  I realized that I needed to pursue a different path and a different career when I felt:

(1) Bored and unhappy on a daily basis because my passion and natural gifts were not aligned with my work.

(2) I wanted to serve the world in a different way, one that focused on helping people to transform their lives for the better, and thus the world for the better.

(3) I wanted to have a more  immediate and transformative impact with the time and energy that I put into in my work.

Why did you begin working with a coach?
I was completely unsure of what direction I needed to take to be true to myself. My coach helped me get reconnected with myself and begin to sort out what was truly important to me . . . a profound step because I had never contemplated those things before!
What did you learn during the course of your coach training?

Trusting myself is the only true option for me.  I had to trust who I am, what makes me excited and interested, what I want to contribute, and what I can offer to people when I’m coming from a place of authenticity and being true to myself.  I also learned coaching is one way of helping people to find answers to important questions that they have about their lives, who they want to be, and what they want to do with their one precious life.  How to create the life you want isn’t something that’s typically focused on — and that’s what coaching is all about.

What made you want to be a coach?
The great thing was that there was no one thing that helped me decide to be a coach.  The more I explored and experienced the coaching field, the more I realized that coaching was the right path for me because it just felt right.  I feel great when I’m coaching. I know I am doing something meaningful.  I connect with people in a way that speaks to what is really really important to them.  I believe I am using my energy and abilities to create a better world and to help people bring fulfillment into their lives.  I feel alive when I coach.  I feel grateful.  I feel hopeful.  I feel like I am doing what I’m meant to do.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when you transitioned from attorney to life coach?
I was completely on auto-pilot for many years, performing tasks and doing things by rote because I “had to.”  When I left my job and the practice of law altogether, there was no way I could be on autopilot anymore.  Self-motivation took on a completely new and powerful meaning for me.  I had to shift how I saw myself in the world, and how I saw what I created and offered to others.  I had to establish new routines and creative practices.  Now all of this seems obvious.  But at the time, the task of shifting a lifelong perspective on how work looks like and years of habits that supported that perspective was harder than I thought!
How did your friends and family react to the big change?

I think they were curious about what was going on with me.  I practiced law for only a few years before making my career change — most people would probably have stuck it out for longer than that.  No one in my life was familiar with coaching and what it’s all about when I first started talking about it, so they didn’t really “get it” at first.  But they saw the big shift in my happiness from when  I was a lawyer to when I began coaching  – and that the change was a very positive one. I think they understood that the big change was a great one.  After all, who can argue with their friend/daughter/sister/partner being happy?

Any regrets?
I can’t think of a single one.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this interview. Lisa will give us helpful tools on how to find and capitalize on our personal passions!
 Lisa Bourque is a personal coach and the founder of Wild Heart Coaching.  She specializes in helping people who feel lifeless at work to find their authentic path and align their personal and professional passions with confidence and choice.  Visit her website at www.YourWildHeart.com.